US shuts out Italy 3-0 for 3rd win at ice hockey worlds

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) Brock Nelson scored twice as the United States cruised to its third win of the ice hockey world championship with a 3-0 defeat of Italy on Wednesday.

Nelson broke the deadlock with a wrist shot to the top right corner early on, then scored another in the second period, shorthanded, minutes before Anders Lee completed the scoring on a power play.

Jimmy Howard, who made 39 saves in the 4-3 win over Sweden on Monday, had a quieter game against the Italians, earning the shut-out with nine saves.

The Americans, with an average age of just 22.6 years, moved second in Group A behind Latvia, also on nine points but having played a game less. The U.S. opened with a surprise 2-1 defeat to co-host Germany on Friday before clocking up a 7-2 rout of Denmark on Sunday.

Coach Jeff Blashill's side now has a two-day break before putting its three-game winning streak on the line against Latvia on Saturday.

Meanwhile, goals from Reto Schappi, Andres Ambuhl and Cody Almond gave Switzerland a 3-0 win over Belarus in Paris, taking the Swiss level on nine points with Group B leader Canada.

Canada, the two-time defending champion, was next playing co-host France on Thursday.

Co-host Germany was in action against Slovakia later Wednesday, when Finland faced Slovenia.

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